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Elemental Tech debuts software-only approach

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 7:08pm
Brian Santo

Elemental Technologies has revised its video processing software so that it runs on multiple processing architectures, including appliances, blade solutions, virtual machines and the cloud.

The company is calling the approach software-defined video (SDV; more evidence that we might be running out of three-letter acronyms [TLA]).

Ericsson has endorsed the idea by adopting Elemental’s software to operate in its Ericsson Virtualized Encoding solution.   

Elemental Technologies made its bones with a video processing approach that yokes CPUs and GPUs and exploits them both for what they each do best in order to achieve new levels of video processing capability.

The approach works up to a point, and that point is data centers with installed equipment short on GPUs.

Elemental’s response was to create software that takes advantage of the computing resources at hand, whether what’s available is CPUs only, or any mix of CPUs and GPUs.

Ordinarily, switching to Elemental equipment that harnesses both CPUs and GPUs might give a company a video processing acceleration of 4X; SDV running on only (or mostly) CPUs might achieve a 10- to 15 percent improvement, said Elemental chief marketing officer Keith Wymbs.

Not only does the company get a modest speed bump, but it’s in a position to gradually migrate its data center equipment to increase the amount of GPU power in the mix, which would gradually get it closer to taking full advantage of Elemental’s video processing algorithms.

Or, as Elemental puts it, SDV solutions take an infrastructure-agnostic approach to implementing flexible, scalable and easily upgradable video architectures.

The updated Elemental platform:

  • Allows less compute-intensive applications, such as single-stream encoding, to take advantage of Elemental’s platform without the assist of graphic processors;
  • Provides broad geographical coverage with cloud-based deployments, independent of available infrastructure in a specific region or market;
  • Enables virtualized operations for video processing where shared hardware resources and blade-based systems are a critical customer requirement; and
  • Saves operational costs by reallocating legacy systems to meet future video processing requirements.

With support for multiple processing architectures, Elemental believes it is first-to-market with a hardware-agnostic platform that can run on a customer’s deployment model of choice.

“By expanding Ericsson Virtualized Encoding to also support Elemental software encoding, we are enabling TV service providers to efficiently address the growing complexity of multiscreen TV service delivery within a single solution,” said Giles Wilson, head of TV compression for Ericsson.

Ericsson Virtualized Encoding is a software solution for intelligent utilization of multiple encoding resources regardless of the platform. Ericsson describes it as a task and service-oriented solution. It can allocate resources and simplify the process of selecting the right encoding method and platform based on the operator’s priorities for deployment speed, video quality and output. It eliminates complexity, enables more efficient resource utilization and bandwidth management and bridges the gap between broadcast and IT infrastructures, allowing deployment of enhanced TV services much more quickly.

Separately,Elemental announced that MobiTV is using its Elemental Live and Elemental Server to deliver more than 40 HD television channels – including live news and sports and a variety of full-episode on-demand shows – for streaming or download to hundreds of devices through multiple pay TV, wireless and OTT partners.

MobiTV started providing multi-screen delivery largely for wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, but it is now providing the same services for IPTV providers, including Deutsche Telekom, and cable and satellite companies.

Elemental enables MobiTV to deliver HD mobile and multiscreen video that provides superior image quality, the ability to quickly scale encoding capacity with consumer demand, and reduce capex spending. By implementing software-based video processing solutions from Elemental, MobiTV has increased its processing capabilities, and future-proofed its infrastructure for high-efficiency video coding (HEVC).

“The video quality, content volume, variety of formats, and the ability to support HEVC through a software upgrade is a combination unique to Elemental in the video processing market,” said MobiTV COO Bill Routt. “Together with Elemental’s industry-leading video processing solutions, we are able to continue delivering new innovations in video streaming technology for our customers.” 

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